As a professional athletes nutrition is just as important as my training regime.
During my career I had a lot to learn. One thing I learned is that there is no ONE right way. The individual nutrition does not only depend on the sport and discipline but also on the individual body.
Growing up in Germany I believed fat was the devil and diet should be based on carbs supported with proteins. I learned whole grains are healthy and white bread isn’t. Carbs, such as pasta and bread, is filling and a good energy provider for your daily training program. And if you want to loose weight or get in shape, you need to go for the fat free products.
After living in different countries, meeting loads of fellow athletes and about 8 years of full time training I learned a lot about different principles of nutrition and my body. I know what works for me and what fuels my body to have enough energy during training and competition.
Being lactose and gluten intolerant my body is super sensitive with what I eat. The wrong foods easily upset my stomach and make me feel light headed or bloated.
Therefore I started to change my entire nutrition and since base my diet on fats (as the energy provider) supported by proteins (for muscle gain and recovery). For a while I tried to stick to a full ketogenic diet but as a lover of sweets and eating out I settled on a light version of this.
So here’s a typical day on my plate:
As I’m not a morning person at all and I have a hard time getting out of bed early enough to make a proper breakfast, I make something easy. With my first training session only an hour away, I don’t want to have anything heavy in my stomach that may get me sick on the track.
The Bulletproof coffee is an amazing energy provider and gets me awake and through the morning.
If you’re not familiar with the Bulletproof coffee, here’s a short little summary.
It got invented as part of the Bulletproof diet and contains black coffee, grasfed butter and MCT oil. Individually those ingredients don’t sound healthy at all but the combination makes a really unique drink with loads of health benefits. The high intake of fat is supposed to take your body into ketosis, a metabolic state provoked by the lack of carbs that kicks fat-burning into overdrive.
During the night, with several hours between dinner and breakfast our body goes into a state of fasting. Our livers produce ketones that enable our body to use fat cells to produce the necessary energy to maintain our body functions.
Many of you may know the feeling of waking up in the morning starving. But instead of relying on carbs and breaking the state of fasting I fuel my body with fat, which provides my body with enough energy for my training session but keeps my body in the state of fasting a bit longer. This is called intermitted fasting. Fat as an energy provider is technically the healthier kind of fuel for our body as it produces less toxins when your body breaks it down to produce energy. It makes me feel less fatigue and sick on a hard day on the track.
After my first session my body is ready for some proper food. To make sure my body recover properly from training I need to make sure to get some sort of protein in within the next hour. I usually make a quick bacon, egg , avocado and spinach dish at home or go to some of the incredible cafes in our area offering similar kinds of food.
Just before my second session of the day I often feel a little hole in my stomach so I often have a snack of almonds or some other sort of nut. This goes really well with a green tea or matcha tea as a source of antioxidants (helps your muscle soreness) and caffeine.
The afternoons we usually spent in the gym working on strength, conditioning and personal weaknesses. I may also have some sort of treatment such as physio or soft tissue. We also try to go to recovery (ice bath, spa and “river”) after every hard session.
Coming home in the evening, the last thing I feel like is cooking. I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend that takes over this part. We try to base our meals on vegetables and healthy proteins but often have a side of some sort of carbs such as sweet potato or quinoa. As my body is naturally low iron we often eat red meats such as lamb (fresh from the farm of my boyfriends family – my favourite!) or some fresh fish from the local markets.
Later in the evening I am craving something sweet and my secret remedy for this is my house-made lemon, ginger and honey tea. Just cut some fresh ginger in small slices, squeeze out half a lemon and stir in a teaspoon of honey. Pour over boiling water, let it sit for 10 min and enjoy.
As I mentioned earlier, there is no one right way. All together I try to stick to healthy and fresh foods and avoid foods that doesn’t do my body well.